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Roof Crawl: Stefano Ghisolfi Spiders 5.15b ‘L’Arenauta’

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Released on March 10, 2022, this unadulterated video documents the first ascent of a 20-year-old route in coastal Italy by one of the best climbers of all time.

When Stefano Ghisolfi calls a climb “the hardest route of central Italy,” take his word for it. The 29-year-old Olympic medalist’s 5.15+ tick list is second only to that of Adam Ondra. And as a native Italian, he has probably sampled more of the country’s climbing than any of his contemporaries.

The route in question is “L’Arenauta” (5.15b/9b), a mostly horizontal limestone line that crawls up and across the roof of Grotta dell’Arenauta cave. Bolted more than two decades ago by Giuliano Taruini, “L’Arenauta” stood without a first ascent until Ghisolfi’s redpoint go on Feb. 8, 2022.

Ghisolfi climbs new 5.15b_9a sport route Feb. 24 2022 (photo S Grippo)
(Still/S. Grippo)

“This pitch, bolted 20 years ago, finally is a free climb. It finally has a name,” Ghisolfi said after nabbing the first ascent. “I hope there will be repetitions soon. I’m looking forward to other people [feeling] the same emotions I felt.”

If the grade is confirmed, “L’Arenauta” will be the first 5.15b/9b sport climb in central and southern Italy.

Runtime: 10 minutes

Bonus: If you’d like to dig a little deeper, check out “L’Arenauta, a 20 years old project,” the 27th episode of Ghisolfi’s YouTube series “The Climbing Diaries.”

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